Fiddler on the Roof keeps tradition

Fiddler on the Roof keeps tradition

Leila Aboussir

Senior Ned Meeker starred in the fall musical “Fiddler on the Roof” as Tevye.

Nicole Sarquis, Staff Writer

In addition to the normal stress that accompanies the first week of school, members of BSM’s theater community experienced extra nerves at their Sept. 6 auditions for the fall play “Fiddler on Roof.” Since then, the 36 chosen cast members dedicated their days to singing, dancing, and practicing lines at every opportunity.

“Fiddler on the Roof,” which set stage on October 28, 29, and 30, centers around a Jewish father of five daughters, played by senior Ned Meeker. “This show is steeped in the Jewish religion and is more of a heavy-hearted show rather than a comedic show,” said Meeker.

The director, Marilee Mahler, didn’t cut one person, which made for a bigger cast and required dedication from the performers. “We rehearse[d] roughly 20 hours a week with two acts, and eight to ten scenes per act. This is one of our most emotionally strenuous fall musicals yet because it deals with topics like antisemitism,” said Meeker.

There was a great amount of preparation to make this musical the best one it could be. “Practices are usually demanding, but because our cast is like a family we are able to get through the practices together,” said junior Gavin McLain, who played Lazar Wolf.

“Fiddler on the Roof” reaches deep into the Jewish traditions, not only with acting and singing, but the dancing presented in the musical also takes its roots in Jewish traditions. “There is a lot of dancing, but it’s more of a traditional Jewish dance. The choreographer, Linda Talcott Lee, learned the dance moves from Jerome Robins, who did the original choreography for the Broadway show,” said Meeker.

This musical had high expectations because, for the first time in a long time, there were multiple roles in which students played characters of the opposite gender. “Due to the abundance of male roles, we have cast some girls in male roles,” said Mahler.

Performers prepared for the show for many weeks and eagerly anticipated opening night. “The show went really well. The week before our performances was really rough, but everyone worked really hard and we pulled off a great show. Some even said that it was the best show BSM has ever done,” said senior Emma Eldred.